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This Proto-Germanic entry contains reconstructed terms and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



From pre-Grimm *petwṓr, with an irregular consonant change from *kʷetwṓr, the neuter form of Proto-Indo-European *kʷetwóres. The consonant change was probably caused by the influence of the *p- in the word for "five", *pénkʷe. The expected outcome would have been **hwedwōr.[1]



Proto-Germanic cardinal numbers
 <  3 4 5  > 
    Cardinal : *fedwōr
    Ordinal : *fedurþô
    Multiplier : *feþurfalþaz
    Prefix : *feþur-


  1. four


The declension for all three genders is identical.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


In North and West Germanic, the form lost its *-d-, from which the attested forms are descended. In Old Norse, this would have given *fjór, but plural adjective endings were then added to this form. Though the middle consonant is only preserved in Gothic, a fossil is found in Old Norse fjaðryndaland (the land of four hundreds).


  1. ^ Ringe, Donald (2006) From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (A Linguistic History of English; 1)‎[1], Oxford: Oxford University Press, →ISBN